EXERCISE BREAKDOWN: HANGING KNEE RAISE
HOW TO DO IT
GRAB THE CHIN UP BAR – Thumb around the bar and with a false grip if you really want to test your grip strength and encourage some shoulder mobility work.
SLOWLY DECEND INTO DEAD HANG – Arms locked straight, pushing the bar away, shoulder blades elevated and Pelvis ‘sinking’ towards the floor.
DRAW YOUR KNEES UP AND ROTATE YOUR PELVIS BACK – initiate the move by trying to tilt the pelvis back, while gently inhaling. Bring the knees up as high as you can while you suck the belly button in. You should feel the abdominals control the movement and you should feel the Lat stretch increase as the pelvis tilts back.
STAY HERE FOR A SECOND – at the top we should be dead still. The knees as close to the chest as possible and any passers by amazed at our strength and control.
SLOWLY UNRAVEL – Then, using strength – we lower. Slowly unravel and come all the way down until the knees go just behind us.
STRETCH AT THE BOTTOM – this will help you control the move. If you find your swinging while you’re learning, tap the floor to control the move.
HOW IT GOES WRONG AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
YOU SWING TOO MUCH – it happens. You must grip the bar tightly, not try to use momentum and focus on keeping the pelvis from swinging forwards on the way up.
YOU JERKED IT – these can be very hard, so rather than focus on the ‘painful’ sensations of the Hip Flexor muscles and the lower abdominal, you just jerk to the top and hope to get there before gravity catches up with you. The fix is to do less reps until you can do them well. Slow the whole thing down and let your muscles get used to what you’re demanding from them.
YOU COULDN’T GET VERY HIGH – If you do it properly, at first you may well find that you can’t get your thighs much higher than parallel to the floor. That’s fine, these are hard! – keep practicing – as your Abs get stronger you will be able to ‘suck’ your legs up higher.
YOUR HEAD AND SHOULDERS WERE NAUGHTY – you may shrug if you’re struggling, you may look around if you’re not concentrating. We don’t want this though as it changes the angle and causes us to fidget. When we do this we lose form and risk hurting ourselves. Try focusing on the floor a few metres away from you, keep your dead hang, tuck your chin slightly and make sure the only movement comes from the hips and pelvis.
SUCK IN THE BELLY BUTTON – this will help you posteriorly tilt the pelvis, which will help you use your Lower Abdominals and get your knees higher. Focus on this and you’ll get better.
FEEL THE LOWER ABS – the old mind muscle connection again. If you can learn to focus on the muscle that must contract on an exercise, it will be easier to perform the exercise in the ideal manner and you will be able to contract said muscle harder (and you will get stronger and you will be happy).
YOUR PELVIS DOESNT MOVE IN SPACE, IT TILTS – If you imagine it staying still, you’re less likely to start swinging.
HANGING L SIT
CHAIR L SIT
PELVIC TILT TO GLUTE LOCK
WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU DO THIS?
GRIP, ABS, LATS – You’re hanging from a bar, for an extended period of time. Its going to strengthen your grip big time, your Lat(Latissimus Dorsi -your big back muscles) are working and stretching – so you’ll be a bettere athlete for that AND of course this is primarily a wonderful exercise for great abs.
YOU CAN’T DO CHIN UPS YET – Chin Ups are a wonderful thing, but they are hard if you are heavy, female (most) or have little training experience. That’s fine, there are loads of ways to scale it down and work in similar positions and get on the road towards doing them. This is one great way. You spend time building your strength for chin ups, but get great Abs in the meantime.
BASIC GYMNASTIC PROGRESSIONS – Its a very transferable move to gymnastic skills – of which I’m gonna give you lots of. You learn body control, you practice a basic hang and you start your Abs off on the long road they have ahead.
Pretty compelling all in all I’m sure you’ll agree. Enjoy.